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The Personal Liberty Objection Criticised.

The following is a, portion of an address delivered recently by Dr Maclean before tlio annual luoetin/; of the jMOinbcTs of the -United Kingdom j Alliance.:— We are told,-too, that this proposal of yours is trenching on the liberty of tiio subject. The liberty of whom, did you say 1 Does not the very word " subject toll you that the gentleman has lifid his liberty trenched upon ali ready ? If he is the subject, wliom is ;he the subject of? Some authority j that restricts and, if needs be, coerces. I Society 'is impossible without restrictions of the liberty of the subject. All society is bound by the restrictions 'of what is called liberty. It is.a piecs ■of tyranny on tlie part of the Mrtiicaester Corporation to stick up on the Jamp posts " Please keep to the right." Why must I not walk where I like, as indeed a good many of our friends from Oldharn and the neighboring towns on the Mondays are m the habit lof doing ? For the very plain reason i that if I do I shall be a nuisance to somebody else, and get hustled; and so we agree to keep to the right. Why may I not keep pigs m Portland street, if I choose? Because they would be a nuisance to somebody else. Surely it is a very one-sided kind of liberty, hoAvever, which allows an unrestricted elbow-room to the promoters of a traffic which is the cause of impoverishment and national disgrace, and which forbids the men— the decent citizens who have to pay for the poverty and the crime that it hatches—to unite together and say v,e will not have this sewer running before our door any more. The only question is whether the evil against which such restrictions are invoked is sufficiently grave and pressing to warrant the restrictions we ask for. As to the question, there can be no two opinions here, at all events. This traffic is the cause of and the ally of all crime. There is not a family, I suppose, or scarcly one, m England, but m some of its branches of members can count the victims of it. Like the destroying angel m Egypt, it scarcely leaves a house where there is not one dead. It breaks the wife's heart, and j condemns the innocent children to child misery and an inheritance of sin. It is the enemy and despair of all men that are trying to work for the elevation, of the country. It is the curse of England, and, unchecked, would be its ruin. That fatal reef is crowded from end to end with the gaunt ribs of wrecked crafts that went out goodly and full of promise, and every hour fresh ones are striking on it. It seems j to me that it is the plain duty of all good men and true to lend a helping hand to undermine the black rocks and to blast them out of the course.

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Bibliographic details

The Personal Liberty Objection Criticised., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2530, 29 September 1890

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The Personal Liberty Objection Criticised. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2530, 29 September 1890